NBA West Coast Betting: Toronto Raptors at Los Angeles Clippers
Betting Odds courtesy of Bovada
The Toronto Raptors are the third seed in the East if the playoffs began today, and the team is just three games above .500. Its opponent, the Los Angeles Clippers, are fourth in the West despite being 16 games above .500. The Clippers will host the Raptors in a game NBA oddsmakers at Bovada are favoring the Clippers by 5.5-points.
Doc Rivers and the Clippers have lost its past two contests, to Miami and Denver, and the team will face the Philadelphia 76ers before embarking on another tough schedule stretch that will see four West playoff teams. Blake Griffin has been scoring nearly at will over the last two losses, as he recorded 36 points against the Nuggets and 43 against the Miami Heat.
The Raptors will look to slow the pace of this game to prevent the Clippers from going nuts in transition. The Raptors allow just 96.6 points per game, but the team scores only 99.3 itself. Amir Johnson will draw the task of slowing down Griffin, and Jonas Valanciunas will have to play plenty of help-side defense to help control the All-Star.
The Raptors were impressed enough with the growth of DeMar DeRozan to cut ties with Rudy Gay. DeRozan will be making his first All-Star appearance this season and is averaging 22 points per game. Kyle Lowry really should be joining DeRozan in the event, as Lowry has posted 16.6 points, 7.5 assists and 4.3 rebounds per game—easily outclassing Joe Johnson of Brooklyn, who was selected for the event.
Darren Collison has done a good job filling in for Chris Paul who was out with a shoulder injury. Paul should return Sunday against Philly according to Rotowire, and that will be a big lift to the Clips. The team is replete with depth, but is still heavily reliant on its two superstars in Chris Paul and Blake Griffin. Jamal Crawford and J.J. Redick are two great shooters to insert into the lineup and the tandem is averaging 34 points combined per game. Redick is out with back spasms.
TOR Trends: UNDER 5-0 in last 5 Friday games; 7-0 ATS in last 7 Friday games; UNDER 4-0 in last 4 when opponent allows 100 or more in previous game.
LAC Trends: 6-0 ATS in last 6 Friday games; 0-4 ATS in last 4 after scoring 100 or more in previous game; OVER 6-1 in last 7 when opponent scores 100 or more in previous game.
Head-to-head: UNDER 9-1 in last 10 meetings in Los Angeles; Raptors 12-5 ATS in last 17 meetings; UNDER 7-3 in last 10 meetings.